The provided referral code is invalid

Getting Into Harvard: Acceptance Rates and Admission Requirements

Dreaming of Harvard? Find out what it takes to get in and how to excel in the SATs and ACTs with our expert tips!
Get into: Harvard SAT requirements, ACT scores, and average GPA

Source: Pexels 

There is hardly a part of the world where people haven’t heard something about the Ivy League. Many of them usually associate it with just one name, though – Harvard University. It is no surprise that many students are dreaming of getting in there. Yet, as you can imagine, it is exceptionally hard due to the high number of applicants and low acceptance rate. But it’s not impossible at all! 

We have prepared an overview of the acceptance rate and average scores for Harvard. If you work hard, get a proper tutor, and understand how to craft a perfect application, you may be among the lucky ones! Ready to learn more? Here you go.

Harvard Acceptance Rate: How Many Applicants Become Students

Let’s break down the numbers – 3.45%. Yes, you read that correctly. As Harvard’s official admission statistics say, for the class of 2027, out of 56,937 applicants, they admitted 1,966 students. Realistically, it doesn’t come as a surprise. Harvard University is known for being very selective about who they let in. But don’t allow that number to intimidate you. With smart preparation and the perfect SAT and ACT scores, your dream of becoming a Harvard student can come true. 

Harvard SAT Scores: Aiming for Excellence 

Note: Before we start diving deeper into the SAT and ACT requirements, you have to know that Harvard announced that students may submit their applications without standardized test scores for classes of 2027-2030.

Still, for most applicants, SAT scores are a crucial element. Yet, Harvard University doesn’t quite state a minimum SAT score requirement, as they emphasize a holistic approach to admissions. This means that they will assess your whole educational background rather than focusing on one test score. 

To put your best foot forward, aim for an SAT score that consistently falls within the 25th-75th percentile range of admitted students. This result ranges from 1460 to 1570 out of a perfect 1600. So, if you’re wondering about the average SAT scores for Harvard, what you need is approximately 1515, which is a very high score. Achieving a score within or above this range will boost your application and make you stand out among other applicants. 

When aiming for perfection, you will need to practice a lot. So, make sure that you establish a training routine to get ready for your exam.

What Is the Average ACT Score at Harvard? 

While the SAT is more common, Harvard also accepts ACT scores. Just like with the SAT, Harvard doesn’t have a fixed minimum ACT requirement. Still, students admitted to Harvard often have ACT scores within the 33-35 range. This makes the average ACT score for Harvard around 34. You wouldn’t expect anything much lower, I suppose.

Of course, higher scores provide a stronger advantage. But as we’ve mentioned before, Harvard evaluates applicants on a variety of factors, not just standardized test scores. High school performance is also a part of their decision. Harvard’s average GPA for admitted students is usually around 4.0. If you see that there is no way of perfecting your GPA, make sure you can maximize your SAT/CTA score and show other relevant accomplishments. 

Applying to Harvard: Practical Tips

Before you apply, you should know about a fee waiver and an application fee. If application fees pose a financial burden, don’t get discouraged. Harvard offers fee waivers to eligible students. Besides, 20% of Harvard families pay nothing for their kids to attend. So, make sure you study the Financial Aid Program

Don’t forget to follow the university news because it can give you some useful information. For example, not long ago, Harvard announced that starting from the 2023-24 academic year, families with annual incomes of up to $85,000 (up from $75,000 before) won’t be expected to contribute anything to the cost of their child’s education. 

Now that we have it all settled with the fees let’s take a look at the possible improvements you can make in your application. What are those?

  • Early Decision or Regular Decision? Harvard offers both application options. Early Decision is binding, meaning if you get accepted, you must attend (not the worst scenario). Regular Decision is non-binding, giving you more flexibility in your college choice. Which one is better for you? If you are 100% sure Harvard is your top choice, pick Early Decision. 
  • Letters of recommendation. It is a basic requirement for many universities, but it doesn’t make it less important. Strong letters of recommendation can make a real difference. They should come from teachers, mentors, or supervisors who genuinely know you and can testify to your character and capabilities. 
  • Extracurricular activities. Engaging in extracurriculars demonstrates your commitment and interests outside of academics. Be active in clubs, sports, or community service that resonate with you. Any Ivy League university values community, so make sure you share your experience in this area. 
  • Personal essays. That’s a great opportunity to raise your voice and stand out. Tell about your background and provide a glimpse into your personality and aspirations.

What Is Harvard Seeking in the Applicants? 

It would be a mistake to think Harvard University needs only the excellent SAT, ACT, or GPA scores. Aside from the tests, Harvard’s admissions office pays attention to your high school achievements, recommendation letters, extracurricular activities, goals, and essays. These elements allow the admissions committee to form a comprehensive picture of you as a student and an individual. This is the essence of the holistic approach they are dedicated to. 

Overall, Harvard wants to find young people who are really, really good at something or could become excellent at a truly important matter. They’re not so interested in people who are just okay at a lot of things. If you look at Harvard’s alums, you will see that many of them have great influence and make big changes in the world. Are your ambitions the same? Then, Harvard University might be just a perfect place for you.


Let’s be honest: getting admitted to Harvard University is challenging. Still, it’s not an impossible dream. Focus on achieving strong SAT/ACT scores, use time management tricks that work for you, try to achieve a high GPA, gather compelling recommendation letters, and stay focused on your studies. Harvard University seeks students who will contribute to their community. So, be yourself, aim high, and the dream of studying at one of the world’s most prestigious institutions might become your reality. 



Prep smarter with unlimited questions and personalized guidance, all at your command. Your digital study buddy is here to guide you to success, one practice question at a time.

About AceIt

AceIt delivers personalized, adaptive test prep through AI technology. Our platform gets to know you to create a customized study plan targeting your weaknesses. The more you use AceIt, the smarter it gets, continuously tailoring your SAT prep for better results than one-size-fits-all manuals. With flexible subscriptions, we make achieving your goals affordable. AceIt is your AI tutor, coach, and study buddy in one platform.

Recent Posts

Watch AceIt on Youtube

Sign up for our Newsletter